fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Joseph Mark" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2021 12:26:20 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend
I am Dr. Joseph Mark a banker. I Discovered the sum of seven million,
two hundred thousand dollars (usd7.2) belonging to a deceased customer
of this bank the fund has been lying in a suspense account without
anybody coming to put claim over the money since the account late
owner involved in car crash.
Therefore, I am soliciting for your assistance to come forward as the
next of kin. I have agreed that 40% of this money will be for you as
the beneficiary respect of the provision of your account and service
rendered, 60% will be for me. Then immediately the money transferred
to your account from this bank, I will proceed to your country for the
sharing of the fund. If you think you are capable and will be
committed to making this deal successes send me an email as soon as
possible to confirm your interest.
Dr. Joseph Mark